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The iconic 60s comic strip that never was...until now!
The iconic 60s comic strip that never was...until now!
385 backers pledged £14,732 to help bring this project to life.

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Ceb8ed93ec047f60d3c19c1fb92d800b original
65ee624f19febdee70be92b3b696b614 original

Damaged packages, missing contents and format changes

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Hello Tigers

We are sorry to discover that a very small number of packages have been arriving damaged or with contents missing.

This is obviously completely out of our control, but we apologise anyway, because we are nice like that, and we realise how disappointing and frustrating it is, to us as well, please be assured of that.

Steps will be taken to address this, and we will be going through the proper channels to lodge official complaints and put in claims with the relevant postal services/authorities. We are confident that the packaging we have used is adequate (backed up by the fact that 99% of packages have arrived intact and in good condition). There is clearly some mishandling at work, so the fault lies directly with the postal services, we’ll be getting medieval on their asses, be sure of that! Please be advised however, that there is a process we have to follow, and this will take time.

If you have received your rewards in an unsatisfactory condition, please message us directly here and we will get in touch explaining what we’ll need from you to move this forward.

At this time, we have neither the resources or the stock to send out replacements. Unfortunately those affected will have to wait for the claim/complaint process to run its course before we can look at how we resolve this, again our apologies.

Another issue has been brought to our attention regarding the book itself. It seems a small number of you have missed some updates and posts regarding the change to the Exclusive edition of the book, so, to clarify and hopefully set the record straight, please note the following:

For reasons already expanded at length here (we ask you check previous updates for full info) it has not been possible to produce a hard back version of the book as originally planned. We realise this is a disappointment (it is to us as well), but it was unavoidable. In order to make up for this format change, several enhancements have been included, they are as follows:

The book itself has been expanded, with an extra chapter containing new art and additional  material, none of this was originally to be included.

The book is now signed and numbered, with an exclusive bookplate (with art available nowhere else).

A limited, exclusive, full colour print, signed and numbered, exclusive to Kickstarter backers, and available nowhere else.

An original ink drawing by Barreti of one of the characters from the strip.

Barreti also designed the controversial cover for the Kickstarter exclusive edition, a full update was posted detailing that, if you missed it, where were you??!!

We think all this is pretty darn FAB, and none of this would have been included with the hardcover, so we reckon it’s quite an upgrade, but hey, you are Golden, and you deserve it.

Peace love and underthings

J and G

How do you judge a book?

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Hello Tigers

As some of you know, books are flying out of Goldtiger HQ like TV sets out of hotel room windows with Keith Moon in residence.

We are staging the mail outs, so book only pledges are going out first, with enhanced rewards to follow, we apologise that some of you have to wait a little longer than others, but we have to start somewhere, and logistically it makes sense for us to do the bulk mailings first, we hope you understand and can bear with us a little longer.

A full update of postal progress will follow, so we'll let you know when you can start worrying and cursing us and the like.

Now then, a few comments are filtering trough about the cover to the Kickstarter exclusive edition (which is signed, numbered, has an exclusive book plate, and is accompanied by a limited edition print plus an original drawing by Barreti, none of which were promised, but we wanted to say thank you as we have made you all wait so long, and you are all golden).

We asked Barreti to design the cover, something to compliment and contrast the standard Rebellion mass market edition, he obliged, and true to form he came back with something rather unexpected, which is to be expected with him, if you follow. So, just as Richard Hamilton produced the antithesis of Peter Blake's seminal Sgt Pepper sleeve, Barreti has given us a remarkable gift, a genuine pop art artefact, each one unique, yet at the same time seemingly identical. Is it a wry commentary on his own "invisibility" in the industry? A joke at our expense? A scathing satire of the art establishment?

Barreti's controversial cover
Barreti's controversial cover

"Rauschenberg, what a pr*ck, I wouldn't let him paint my f$cking bathroom, let alone produce a canvas", Barretti replied when we compared his cover design to the artists' most famous work.

Like all art, some will not like what he has done, Barreti always creates controversy, where ever he goes, and with what ever he does. You, dear backers, will be the judge, we consider this just another strange and remarkable turn of events in the history of Goldtiger. You will hold in your hands a book that cannot be judged by its cover, by a creator who defies all expectations, other than the expectation that we know our expectations will be defied.

We urge you to ponder that conundrum, and also, be nicer to otters.

Stay golden

J

The long and winding road

11 likes

Hello Tigers

This will be the final update for Goldtiger.

This project was launched three years ago, so much has happened since then it sometimes seems like three decades, but we got there, more or less intact, (physically at least, the jury is still out on our sanity). We can only hope that the finished article is worth the wait and a just reward for your incredible patience and support.

As many of you will know, the mass market edition of the book is already in the shops, and is (we are delighted to report) garnering rave reviews, our publisher Rebellion have done a fantastic job, they stepped in and rescued us when our original printer went bust, without them, the book in its current form would not exist. We had hoped to release the Kickstarter exclusive edition first, it was always planned that way, and was part of the publishing deal we have with Rebellion. Alas, as so often has been the case on this long journey, things went “tits-up” as they say, the Kickstarter books went missing, and by the time they were tracked down, the publication date had been and gone, we must stress this was in no way Rebellion’s fault, they have been, and continue to be golden on all fronts, this was simply a distribution mix up, these things happen.

So, you are asking: “how will my Kickstarter edition differ from the one I can buy now from Amazon?”, the answer to that is: significantly. Yours will be hand finished, with a different cover, it will be a signed and numbered edition with an exclusive book plate, it will be accompanied by a signed limited edition print of the mass market edition cover art (minus the text, so suitable for framing or Ebay), and we’ll throw in a few little surprises, oh, and some original artwork by Barreti.

!

Did you read that correctly? Has the Goldtiger super computer fallen over again? No! Every single one of you who pledged for a physical copy of the book will receive an original ink drawing by Barreti (in addition to any extras you pledged for, won in competitions or were rashly promised by us two years ago and the above mentioned goodies). When you consider the history, and the fact that no Barreti artwork ever reaches the market, and the fact that he is missing, presumed dead, then this really is something rather remarkable, but you deserve it, this is our special thank you, you are the best. If you continue reading, we have added a coda of sorts, almost an extra chapter from the book which details how this unexpected turn of events came about.

Before then, some housekeeping, quite rightly, a number of you have contacted us regarding delivery addresses and so forth, perfectly understandable given the delays and the time since the surveys went out. So, if your info remains as it was when you returned the survey, or the same as when you may have contacted us directly about this, you need do nothing except wait a week or two more for your books. However if you have changed your address, or need to have them sent to a new location, please advise us of that before April 1st. We will start mailing books out on that date (how apt!) using the most current information we have, and cannot take responsibility for your treasures going through some one else’s letterbox.

Digital only backers will be contacted directly, we will give you access codes and your digital copy of Goldtiger can be retrieved directly from Rebellion.

Once again, thank you all so much.

Peace, love and underthings.

J and G, somewhere in Europe 2016.

CODA

Some bright spark in the office at Goldtiger HQ had the brilliant idea to track down Barreti and get him to sign the limited edition print of the cover art. Cue more bright sparks as we tasked the Goldtiger super computer to locate his current whereabouts.

Initial results were promising, we inputted all of the known information about the great man into the interactive user interface (a slot for postcards no bigger than 4” x 6”), flicked the switch, and then waited. We made tea, brewed some beer and watched a box set or two (Jason King and the New Avengers if you must know), eventually a bell rang, the windows rattled and much loved house pets reverted to the wild (as did Miss Peabody, our long suffering secretary). The A3 punch card exited the computer and landed with a promising thud (the best kind of thud). Our delight was short lived, according to our increasingly erratic and eccentric computer, Barreti was either a practicing Necromancer with a four foot beard in Northampton or had happily been living as a woman in Eastbourne for forty years and answering to the name of Elsie, devoting much of her time to salt water kayaking and “All-In” wrestling.

Useless.

What to do?

Luca Biagini.

Only one man could save us now, he was our only hope, not a Jedi, but a defrocked Franciscan Monk, living the dream in the Abruzzo region of Italy near Pescara. Was Luca up to the task, could he succeed where our super computer had failed? In a word: Yes!

Our search lead us to a small, well kept villa in the foot hills of the Monte Amaro mountain, near Passo Lanciano. It was here, where a man (known locally as “Il maestro”) answered to the name of Antonio Barreti but who rarely answered his door. The fact we found him at all is a testament to the investigative prowess and tenacity of Luca Biagini, to say nothing of the persuasive power of Campari and smoked sausage.

Our joy was short lived, as our requests for an audience with the ‘maestro” fell on deaf ears, he flatly refused to speak with us, questions were raised about our parentage and impropriety of a biblical nature involving “beasts of the field” was crudely implied via a tear in a net curtain through a partially open window.

We did not give up. We are made of stronger stuff.

On day three he showed signs of weakening and stopped insulting our mothers.

On day four he accepted a gift of bread and a barrel of local wine. (it should be noted that the local wine is made of stronger stuff still).

Day five passed without incident.

On day six he began to trust us, and asked for more wine.

Day seven was a breakthrough, he agreed to meet the next day and threw only sixteen rocks in our direction, we were elated.

So, the next day a week into our expedition, we were finally in the company of the “maestro”. On that late Autumn day, sitting in a small kitchen, surrounded by olive groves and snow capped mountains something quite remarkable happened. This wiry, frail looking, blue eyed man, with weathered almost translucent skin and white hair created something akin to magic, art can be magic, it can be rare, it can be precious, and sometimes its worth can only be measured in wonder, and as the crisp mountain air whistled through that open window on that strange October afternoon we sat in wonder.

We sat with Barretti he chatted in Italian to Luca, and he bemoaned the printing and the design of the print in broken English to the rest of us. We sipped some wine, and over an hour or two he signed all of the prints.

Thinking our mission completed, and not wanting to take up any more of the maestro’s time, we thanked him profusely, bade him farewell and made for the door. No! He exclaimed, “do not go!” “There is more from Barreti!

What followed was nothing short of miraculous. He demanded paper and ink, we looked through cupboards, table draws, under the sink, everywhere. Eventually we found what he wanted.

Then he started drawing.

Tentatively at first, as if unsure of the materials, or perhaps himself, he started to make marks directly on the paper in ink with a brush. Almost abstract at first, random shapes, splats and scratches, but after a while recognisable features began to emerge. Jack, then Lilly, then other characters from Goldtiger. Characters he had brought life to over forty years ago, but characters who had not drawn breath for three decades or more.

His pace quickened, his hand more assured, more paper, more ink, more wine! He worked almost feverishly, not speaking, lost in a world of his own imaging or perhaps of his own making?

The room seemed to glow, the cool air became warmer and sweeter, the fading light lingered longer than expected, Barretti’s steel blue eyes took on a twinkle they did not have on our arrival. It was as if he was somehow channeling powers that no longer belonged to him, the vitality and vigour of youth, returning, if only for an hour or two.

At one point he drew Jack’s head too large for the paper, it was cut off above the chin, discarded with gusto, another drawing was started, it was a continuation of the last, the chin completed, his neck and collar defined, it too was discarded, another piece of paper, another piece of the jigsaw. Eventually we had ten sheets of paper, all separate and all drawn independently, to our amazement, when they were assembled, they completed a perfect figure of Jack in all his glory, from his glistening black hair to his glistening black boots, seemingly random and casual brush lines, marks and scratches, applied minutes (and as they were thrown across his kitchen, several feet apart) all came perfectly together to make a whole much greater than the sum of its parts. How could this be?

In awe, we quizzed the maestro, how did he do it? he made little of it, “the work is in the head” he claimed, “the truth is there”, “the hands merely pass on the message”, “the message is everything”. “You “fanboys” worry too much about the messenger”.

When we finally left that little villa with a stack of drawings and memories that will last a lifetime, a full moon was glowing like a gold medal, a medal to be awarded to Barretti? It kissed the top of the mountains, an honour he would never receive in this life, but maybe it awaited him beyond the stars.

Three months later, with advance print copies of the completed book we once again made the trek to the Amaro mountains, our intention to meet with Barreti and tell him of the renewed interest in his greatest creation.

To our dismay, the pretty little villa was deserted, almost derelict in fact, what could have happened in such a short time? The locals, who had once been so keen to help, remained tight lipped, refusing to speak. Only one old man spoke to us, “that villa has been empty for years” he said, a “crazy man lived there”, “took his own life, a mortal sin, the place is cursed, no one goes there, you should not go there”.

We took one last look at the villa the following day in the sharp January sun. We found an old photograph in the dirt, near to where his front door should have been, it is clearly Barreti in his younger days, it is reproduced below. As we walked away, at the boundary of the overgrown garden, Luca spotted a piece of wood, stuck into the ground, like a tombstone, or a marker. It bore a legend in Italian, which roughly translates as:

“Dwell not on the folly of the young, find glory instead in the promise of youth”.

The mystery of Goldtiger refuses to die, perhaps Barreti does too.

Fin

For now.

Barreti, somewhere in Italy
Barreti, somewhere in Italy

Good Vibrations

16 likes

We’re nearly there! As some of you may have seen, the standard edition of Goldtiger has just been released. We’ve had some lovely early reviews (such a relief!) and this long old road is all but done.

We had hoped to get the Kickstarter edition to you at the same time as the standard edition was in the shops (as the books ere being printed all at the same time it was always going to be a narrow window but we aimed for it nonetheless). Sadly the Kickstarter edition went walkabout, we received several pallets of the standard edition instead! This was, of course, no fault of Rebellion’s (who have been, and continue to be, pure gold). The standard edition was returned and the hunt was on for the Kickstarter edition which, thankfully, has now been found so we’re back on track. To be honest, given the string of mishaps throughout this project we’re just grateful the books didn’t spontaneously combust when someone’s back was turned!

Jimmy needs a short amount of time to put the finishing touches on those Kickstarter editions before getting them right back out of the door and into your wonderful hands. The digital versions need no delay of course and we’ll post a separate update shortly giving you the details needed to download your copy. In short: you’ll have your books very, very shortly.

The Kickstarter will be more or less the same inside but with a different, exclusive cover. As a special thank you for your amazing support and patience, each and every copy will be unique, signed and numbered, no two will be alike. The cover artwork featured on the standard edition will be included as a print so you have that as well.

Peace love and underthings...

G and J

Goldtiger Press Release

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(For your edification, here's the full press release that is now doing the rounds, like a drunk Samaritan Band tuba player panhandling for sympathetic change):

GOLDTIGER – 1. THE POSEIDON COMPLEX 

By Antonio Barreti and Louis Schaeffer (Presented by Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton)

 It’s the secret history of the greatest comic of the 1960s that you’ve never heard of. 

But it’s also a Kickstarter success story, a time-capsule of one of the most exciting and fertile periods in comics, and an entirely new departure for 2000 AD. 

Goldtiger, presented by Guy Adams and Jimmy Broxton is being published by 2000 AD in March 2016. 

Begun as a Kickstarter campaign, this love-letter to the British newspaper adventure strips of the 20th Century is a fascinating and full-bloodied mix of Modesty Blaise and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. 

‘Rescued’ by 2000 AD for publication, it is the first time the publisher has published a work not previously serialised in the publisher’s weekly and monthly anthologies. 

With incredible veracity and a feel for the period, Adams and Broxton uncover the touching story of the creators behind the ‘60s most surprising secret agents. In the spirit of the legendary Modesty Blaise and Garth newspaper strips, Goldtiger. 

This volume collects together an archive of ‘behind the scenes’ material of the strip that never was – letters, scripts, interviews, sketches – all documenting the creation of the strip and the outlandish lives of its creators and their unbelievable brush with 2000 AD. 

Of all the Sixties newspaper strips, one of the most discussed has to be Antonio Barreti and Louis Shaeffer’s Goldtiger. Uncollected until today, this astonishing book lifts the lid on comics' most unsung creation and also reveals its incredible connection to British Comics Icon and the Galaxy’s Greatest Comic, 2000 AD! 

Working with Shaeffer, a writer entrenched in the world of crime and sci-fi pulp magazines, Barreti produced the first serial in its entirety. Deemed too sensational – not least because both of its main characters were openly homosexual – the strip was cancelled, but even Barreti’s mental breakdown didn’t hold him back, he continued to write Goldtiger and later mysteriously vanished. 

Using extensive restoration techniques and after many years of scouring the archives, Goldtiger is ready to be presented again, complete from the very beginning, starting with their debut adventure The Poseidon Complex. 

“This extraordinary secret history is something that we had to see revealed. 2000 AD’s history of bestselling archive collections, from the Daily Dredd’s to our Case Files series is about to take the most unexpected new turn with Goldtiger.” Ben Smith, Head of Rebellion Publishing. 

“Goldtiger is everything I ever wanted in a comic strip” says Broxton. A “heady cocktail of derring do, daring outfits and even more daring sexuality”. The chance to represent this lost 60s classic to a new and hopefully eager audience represents a dream come true, a dream “peppered with bullets, bra straps and brutal bravado”. Perfect reading for a lazy, sunny afternoon then, or a wet and windy one, this is England after all.” 

“Few creators could fail to recognise parts of themselves in Barreti and Schaeffer,” says Guy Adams, “one is the prolific hack, desperate to pay the bills and the other a principled artist, determined to kick against the pricks and get his story told, whether or not anyone’s willing to hear it.” 

BIOS: 

GUY ADAMS 

Guy Adams has made so many things up he’s at risk of becoming fictional himself. He’s the author of the Clown Service series, the Heaven’s Gate trilogy and the Deadbeat books. So, that’s weird spy novels, weird westerns and weird crime thrillers. Perhaps, gentle reader, he’s a bit weird. His current project is a frankly ill advisedly epic series of YA novellas called The Change. He also writes comics: Ulysses Sweet: Maniac for Hire, Rogue Trooper and Voodoo Planet for 2000AD and The Engine for Madefire. 

 JIMMY BROXTON 

Not entirely fictional, and never entirely sober, Broxton has been creating comics in various forms for as long as he can remember (at leat a fortnight then). When not teaming up with his partner in crime Guy Adams, he works on various original graphic novel projects that he hopes will reach the light of day before too long, or before closing time, which ever comes sooner.